A SQUIRREL'S LIFE
Some great pictures of a squirrel over at “run-a-roundranch” reminded me of a story from several years ago when I was still a 7 AM train commuter to NYC.
My home was about one block from the train station and a 40 minute ride to work. We lived in the suburbs just off of Main Street in the tiny New Jersey town of Metuchen. There is not a lot of wild life in this town. There was a bear in a tree which caused quite a stir one year, but basically the local animals are squirrels, chipmunks, and rabbits.
The squirrels seemed to have a pretty good life. I enjoyed watching them chase each other around a tree, gather acorns, and in general just live the good life. With their tails wagging and chirping happily, I often was jealous of the happy-go-lucky easy squirrel lifestyle.
One morning, on my way to the train, I stopped to watch two squirrels playing around a large tree trunk in my back yard. I was not looking forward to another commute and another day of taking crap from a boss who might have been classified as a moron if such classifications existed.
“Not so bad being a squirrel” I thought as I dragged my way toward the train station. Then at the moment that thought crossed my brain, a huge hawk swooped silently out of the sky, talons flared, and less than a yard from my head. He was headed straight for the tree trunk and one of those happy-go-lucky squirrels.
Caught by surprise I raised my arms in alarm and shrieked a loud "WTF!" My movement threw the hawk off his game and he pulled out of his attack dive missing the squirrel by less than a foot.
The hawk sailed up to a nearby branch and glared at me with a “Dude, I gotta eat too” kind of look in his rapture eyes. We shared glances for several seconds and the squirrels alertly scampered away to a safer location. The hawk was pissed and the squirrels seemed not quite so happy-go-lucky.
I continued on my way to the train station feeling a whole lot better about being stuck with this humdrum human existence of mine.